Anyone can be a leader, and most people will take up this role at different stages of their lives. You don’t have to be the President of a country, or CEO of a big organization/business for this role to be foisted on you. Leadership happens in almost all aspects of our lives ranging from the family unit, the classroom at school to the CEO of a fortune five-hundred company.
Being a leader can be tough, especially when you have followers from different walks of life, but there are always ways to improve yourself and be the best leader your followers can imagine. In this article, we will be discussing eight ways to be an excellent leader who can inspire, motivate, empower, and uplift followers.
8 Ways To Be A Great Leader People Can Follow
❖ Develop Empathy
This is arguably one of the most important traits a great leader must develop. Having the ability to listen deeply to your followers and respond with empathy is a skill that has a tremendous advantage and outshines all other skills. MRG ranked empathy as the most desirable trait great leaders possessed.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective. It’s no surprise why empathic leaders are considered great. Another study by MRG for senior executives ranked empathy third when it comes to predicting the effectiveness of such executives.
❖ Admit When You Are Wrong Quickly
No human being is perfect, as we all make mistakes from time to time. As a leader, you have to understand this fact and be able to own up to your mistakes, not allowing your ego to get in the way. Owing up to your error does not only make you more human and relatable to your followers, but it also encourages your followers to own up to mistakes when made and increases your respect.
Another pleasant effect of owning up to mistakes is the ability to increase accountability among team members. This goes a long way in fostering stronger bonds and collaboration.
❖ Create An Environment For Collaboration
A collaborative environment is one where followers or members of a group can easily interact and cooperate through independent tasks in order to achieve a particular goal. There are a lot of benefits that such an environment gives a group or a business which includes:
- Increased productivity
- Enhanced creativity
- Knowledge sharing
- Productive meetings
- Speed in reaching a goal
- And so on.
A great leader can create such an environment where individual talent shines without the need for unnecessary competitors and where people are not afraid to ask for help.
❖ Be Lavish With Praise
Praise is a potent tool that leaders must use to inspire and encourage their followers because people generally tend to work harder when appreciated. A study carried out by the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics stated that praise not just positively affects the person receiving it; it affects other co-workers/followers as well.
To get the best effect from this tip, whenever a follower or employee does something great, do not just give generic compliments like “well done,” “you did a great job,” and so on. You must point out precisely what was done that deserves praise and also try to do it in front of others as well.
❖ Give Room For Error And Do Not Micro-Manage
Like earlier stated, everyone makes mistakes. The hallmark of a great leader is giving room for error. Especially for new employees or followers who just started with your group or company. There is a saying that “Good employees make mistakes, and great leaders allow them to.” Mistakes have shown over the ages to be a pathway to awesome inventions and ideas.
Understandably, it can be costly for a group or company when a terrible mistake is made. Still, instead of flying off the handle and making a bad situation worse, as a leader, you have to be empathic and find ways to solve the problem.
❖ Always Keep Your Word
As a leader, keeping your word to yourself, followers or employees goes a long way in building trust and fostering respect. Going back on your word often can have devastating consequences as this can cause your followers not just to lose respect for you, but get uncomfortable and dissatisfied with your leadership. Your followers will also start emulating you and go back on their word.
❖ Invest In The Development Of Your Followers
A good leader wants his/her followers to be the best version of themselves. There is a saying by Neale Walsch that “a true leader is not the one with the most followers, but the one who can create the most leaders”.
Investing in the development of followers gives a lot of benefits, such as increased satisfaction, better engagement, and so on. For employees, this translates to a higher retention rate of employees, increased rate of returns, and lovely company culture.
❖ Develop Your Skill
Competency is such an essential trait for leaders who want to inspire, motivate, and see their followers continuously perform at their optimal capability. This translates to the leader having at least a basic knowledge of the operations of the different aspects of the business.
This trait not only allows such a leader to hire competent workers, but it also helps him/her train the next generation of leaders.
To be a great leader that people can follow, you have to understand that human beings are not things but beings with emotions, prejudices, and experiences that have shaped who they have become. Great leaders understand this fact; they lead by example and lead people the way they would want to be led.
Frank Hamilton has been working as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.